Surveys. It’s what every company wants following a consumer’s experience with their brand. We finish a phone conversation with tech support and are asked to “remain on the line” to answer a few short questions about our experience today. Our inboxes receive surveys from companies we have done business with, asking for our feedback on a purchased product or service or an experience with their customer support desk. We are asked to participate in surveys about political candidates, about breakfast food, and much more.

In most instances, we don’t get the results from all who were surveyed, unless they are used in some research that will be published later. And those types of surveys are largely for a more academic community, not we regular Joes.

Nevertheless, surveys are a necessary tool for businesses.

Why every business should be using surveys

Today’s consumer wants a relationship with the companies he decides to do business with. This relationship can be established in many ways–social media interaction, personalized emails, customer service experiences, and by letting consumers put “faces” to the people behind a business.

The point is this: A consumer wants to feel that a company cares about them as a person, not just as part of a sales figure.

And one major way that every business can show it cares is to ask for feedback on products and services the customer has purchased and/or received.

Surveys are also a way for a brand to keep its name in front of consumers’ eyes. And so, when surveys are created, they should be customized for that brand, so that the consumer remembers who he is taking the survey for and how meaningful the questions are to his personal experience.

Customizing a Survey Just Makes Sense.

How to customize your surveys

Branding your survey is the smart thing to do. And here are seven hacks that will let you do just that.

1. The design itself

Your brand has a logo, certain color palettes, etc. that communicate your identity. These should be incorporated into your survey design–this serves to help your respondents remember who you are when they choose to actually take that survey. Here’s an example of what this means – a survey created by Fitbit with GetFeedback:

Note the Fitbit logo is front and center on the survey landing page, and that the scenery in the background is exactly the type of fitness vibe that projects Fitbits’ image and brand.

2. Use a theme

This theme should permeate every survey you send out. And that theme should be based upon the color and typography that your brand uses on its website, in its content visuals, and even on many of its social media posts. Look at the Fitbit visual above. These are the colors as well as the background scenery that come to be associated with the brand. And when you get on the company’s website, you will find many pages that sport that scenery in one form or another.

You can get additional brand awareness and perhaps additional action by adding some footer text. You can add a discount for completion of the survey; you can introduce a new product, again with a significant discount if the survey is completed and submitted. Not only does this motivate respondents to give you the feedback you want, but it brings them back to your website to collect their award.

4. Add a custom URL

Another way to customize your survey is to add a custom URL after the main link to indicate the survey. While this is not a major factor in customization, it serves to show the brand to the respondent one more time.

5. Always give respondents the opportunity to click to your site

The footer page can do this, but if you choose not to include a footer page, be certain that you always give your respondents the ease of clicking to your site, so that you can continue to interact with them.

6. Invitation via email

This is the place where personalization and customization come together–and they should. Not only do you want to customize a survey for your brand, but you also want your audience to believe that the invitation to respond is personal– that they matter to you.

If you invite by email, then you must personalize that email, using the customer’s name, along with any motivational tactics you may be presenting. Be certain to explain why it is important–that you want and need their opinions in order to make their future experiences with your brand that much better.

7. Provide the results to Your respondents (when applicable)

When we provide feedback to anyone, and certainly to a business, we want to know that it counted, that the company has taken our comments and opinions and is using them in some way. Your customers feel the same way. When they participate in a survey, they should automatically see the results so far. You can customize those results in a number of ways–bar graph, pie chart, etc. and they should provide ongoing running totals. Also, notifying respondents when the survey will end and telling them that they will receive the final results make them all feel that their votes count.

Some other considerations

Customization of surveys primarily relates to those who have been invited to participate and to solidifying your brand on the survey documents.

But there are some indirectly related considerations that are critical as well.

  1. How questions are posed can make a big difference in the results you may receive. Be certain that the questions you ask are going to get the information/feedback you are looking for and that they are written clearly for your target audience.
  2. Use of sophisticated vocabulary and long, complex sentences are a surefire way to turn potential respondents away. Use tools like Hemingway Editor or Grammarly to check for clarity and reading level.
  3. Do not risk grammatical, spelling, and other compositional errors. These can be big turn-offs to a number of people. If you need your survey reviewed and edited, find a professional writer or writing service, such as Trust My Paper, so that your grammar and composition are impeccable.
  4. An often-forgotten aspect of customization is the responsiveness of surveys to all devices. Because of many of your customers on mobile devices, you want to make taking your survey as easy and streamlined as possible on them.

In conclusion

There are really two purposes for customer surveys. One, you do want to get important feedback, so that you can serve your customers better, by making improvements and revisions. Two, you want your customers to remember your brand and remember you as a business that cares about them and their experiences with your company.

Customizing your surveys allows you to keep your brand in front of customers’ eyes, to develop greater trust in your relationships with them, and to provide another opportunity for them to visit your site. And of course, if they do, there will be rewards for completing the survey. This, as well, provides the motivation they need to complete it.